After a 28-year-old woman shot and killed three students and three teachers at a Christian private school in Nashville Monday, President Biden urged reporters not to overlook the mental health of those who survived the horror.
Speaking during a White House event for small business owners, the president drew comparisons to soldiers who returned home with PTSD after fighting in Iraq.
“So many members of the military come back with post-traumatic stress after witnessing the violence and participating in it,” Biden said. “Well, these children, these teachers … we should be focusing on their mental health as well.”
Authorities say a female shooter wielding two “assault-style” rifles and a pistol killed three students and three adults at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian school for about 200 students from preschool through sixth grade.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT COVENANT SCHOOL IN NASHVILLE
The suspect – who has yet to be identified beyond her age and gender – died after being shot by police following the violence. Police said she was once a student at the school.
Biden called the shooting “sick” and “heartbreaking.”
“We had to do more to stop the gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart … ripping at the very soul of the nation, and we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons,” the president said.
Biden again called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban just like the ban he helped pass in 1994. That law enacted a 10-year ban on the manufacture, transfer or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons” (SAWs) and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.” It formally expired on Sept. 13, 2004.
Monday’s shooting comes as communities around the nation are reeling from a spate of school violence, including the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year; a first-grader who shot his teacher in Virginia; and a shooting last week in Denver that wounded two administrators.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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